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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

Shared Economic Prosperity

Stakeholder Capitalism

Pete Stavros of KKR & Co. founded Ownership Works, a new initiative backed by 19 private equity firms, with the objective of reducing income inequality by increasing employee share ownership. The group has prominent backers and a lofty goal of creating $20 billion in wealth in 10 years. As a researcher who has worked on employee share ownership and the benefits it can create, I was encouraged by the news. But while I broadly support employee ownership, such initiatives also can raise red flags because of the risk they impose on employees. As such, it is worthwhile to think carefully through what we know and don’t know about such programs.

Higher prices for gas, groceries and nearly everything else are on consumers’ minds after a government report Friday showing that inflation is up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis, the largest jump since late 1981. Chief Economist Gerald Cohen tells WTVD-TV, “When people start saying, ‘I think inflation is going to continue to occur, that means that the Fed has to work harder and that it could end badly.”

With the school year winding down, we invited Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Fellow and UNC-Chapel Hill Public Policy Research Professor Iheoma Iruka to join us for a discussion on the business of childcare and early education – as well as the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted families’ expectations and workers’ needs

Female involvement in the workforce remains important to the U.S. economy, but COVID-19 has only exacerbated a drop in participation rates. To reverse the trend, businesses are enhancing maternity leave, child care services and access to fertility and family-planning services, according to research by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School experts.

Mark Little, executive director of the Kenan Institute-affiliated center CREATE, provided expert testimony in a process that resulted in a May 11 settlement agreement regarding contracting and hiring practices for Dominion Energy’s $9.8 billion Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind renewable energy project.

The latest employment figures show a strong economy and indicate the U.S. is not at risk of recession, Chief Economist Gerald Cohen says in a story by WRAL TechWire’s Jason Parker.

The recent surge in inflation is making things worse for “a much larger number of people than one might think,” Urban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson tells The News & Observer.

Kenan Scholars Director Kim Allen is among the winners of UNC’s annual Diversity Awards, presented to individuals and groups who have given their time and effort to further diversity, equity and inclusion at the university and in its surrounding community.

Chief Economist Gerald Cohen joined N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders and UNC Associate Professor Erin Fraher, deputy director of the Sheps Center for Health Services Research, on Wednesday for an ncIMPACT Virtual Town Hall with host Anita Brown-Graham. The panelists discussed which sectors have been hit by worker shortages particularly hard and where the talent to fill those positions will come from.

Much attention is being focused on energy supply security issues, especially for European oil and gas supplies. The latest Russian decision to halt natural gas sales to Poland and Bulgaria has reinforced that continent’s awareness of the perils of unreliable suppliers. Europe’s short-term focus is on sanctioning Russia and then backfilling the forgone oil and gas from other sources.

CEOs of the Triangle saw significant raises last year, according to a recent Axios analysis. Kenan Institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen weighs in on these surging salaries and the gap between managers and company leaders, calling it the “superstar effect.”

Chief Economist Gerald Cohen will be a panelist for an ncIMPACT Virtual Town Hall on workforce shortages in the state that will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 4 on Facebook Live.